Breathe In and Out
ABC Books, 2023
24pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
Big Ted is having one of those days when his feelings are dark and stormy, and when his friends come to play he doesn’t want to join them. Even when they build him a mindfulness cubby, he doesn’t feel better until…
Our youngest readers will immediately recognise the characters from ABC Play School in this story but more importantly, they will recognise that feeling gloomy, anxious or wound-up are perfectly natural emotions that everyone has. Unpleasant though they may be, they are part of life and after all, without rain there are no rainbows. But because Jemima and Kiya and Little Ted have all experienced them, they know the sorts of things that can help and so through their actions, little ones can learn their own strategies to work their way through those times when the going gets tough. Who doesn’t feel a little calmer when cocooned in a cubby made from sheets spread over chairs, with familiar smells to breathe in, peaceful sounds to listen to and things that bring back happy memories to look at?
Being able to self-calm and self-regulate is a huge step in growing up and this story will go a long way in helping our littlies to master and manage their emotions, while still acknowledging that such emotions are real,, are part of who we are, and will be part of us for our lifetime.